Former Sainsbury’s boss joins Marks & Spencer’s turnaround board

Former Sainsbury’s boss Justin King is to join the board of Marks & Spencer as the retailer undergoes the next phase of its drastic transformation plan.

His appointment as a non-executive director completes a reshuffle of M&S’s top team which has seen four new appointments to the board in the last year.

The retailer is undergoing an upheaval as it closes several stores, streamlines its corporate structure and ramps up its digital operations.

M&S chief executive Steve Rowe said Mr King’s “experience, wisdom and insight” would be helpful as the retailer faces up to fresh challenges.

Mr King was chief executive of Sainsbury’s for 10 years until 2014, and is credited with reviving the supermarket.

Steve Rowe bonus
M&S chief executive Steve Rowe hailed Justin King’s ‘experience, wisdom and insight’ (Marks & Spencer/PA)

Prior to this, he worked at M&S, where he was head of the food division, helping to pioneer the Simply Food format.

Mr King said: “Having worked there 15 years ago, M&S has a very special place in my affections. I look forward to joining the board and supporting Steve in the turnaround that he is leading.”

He also held roles at Asda in the 1990s, where he crossed paths with current M&S chairman Archie Norman.

Mr King will continue to serve as vice chairman of Guy Hands’ investment firm, Terra Firma.

This is the fourth new board appointment at M&S in the past year following the additions of former Dixons boss Katie Bickerstaffe, EY veteran Pip McCrostie and new finance boss Humphrey Singer.